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Academy of Plato

The name of the Academy of Plato comes from the mythical hero Akadimos. Plato founded here his philosophy school, the first university in the world.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1929 Excavation works started from Panagiotis Aristofronas.

    1990 The area has started being made known as an achaeological park.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

    It was part of the large property of Hasekis.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    529 AD The emperor Justinian closes the philosophical school.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    86 BC The grove was destroyed by Sulla.

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

    338 BC Plato founds his philosophical school around that year.

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

    In the 6th century BC, one of the three gymnasiums of Athens was built.

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The name of the area comes mainly from the mythical hero Academos. Traces of habitation date back to prehistoric times. The grove is divided into a northern and southern part. Most of the antiquities can be found on the southern part, including the playground. On the northern part there are sports facilities. The area is ideal for quiet walks, jogging and picnics and is relatively easy to access by bicycle, starting from Keramikos and continuing onto Salaminos and Monastiriou streets. The area was quite depressed in the past. Under pressure from residents, renovation works on the grove are now in progress.

What I can't see

From the archaic years, there were many sanctuaries and altars, such as those of Academos, Eros, Zeus, Prometheus and Hephaestus. This is where Plato founded his philosophical school (around 338 BC), the first university in the world. It was shut down by the Byzantine emperor Justinian (529 AD) together with all schools of philosophy during his time. As a result of this loss of historical memory through the centuries, the region was only associated with Plato’s Academy by travelers of recent centuries, thanks to the region’s name (“Kathimeia” a likely alteration of the word “Academy”). To ancient Athenians, this was a favourite walking area but also a sacred area, since the park had the olive trees of Athena, the ones that produced the olive oil given to the winners of the Panathenaea. This also used to be the starting point for the torch relay that led to Dipylon, in honour of the dead buried at the Dimosio Sima (Public Sign). The park was totally destroyed by the roman invasion of Sulla.


Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore

Iliopoulos Th.., (2012), Ακαδημία Πλάτωνος, [Plato’s Academy], Odysseus, Ministry of Culture

Last visit 3/10/2013